Monthly Archives: February 2010

Help us with a home(page) remodel

We like to keep things fresh here at Lulu. But lately, we feel like our home page is getting a little stale.

So we’re ripping up the floors and bringing out the paint … or at least the wire frames and graphics. Our goal is to make Lulu.com a better experience for both of our customer groups: content creators and buyers. We want to highlight the diverse selection of content available on Lulu.com, help our creators sell more and make sure we remain a first stop for anyone publishing or buying books.  As with any remodel, we need some ideas. So help us out!

What should we keep on the Lulu.com homepage?
What should we take away?
What should we add?

If there are sites that you think are particularly well designed, let us know that, too.

We love the creativity of our community, so give us your thoughts. And stay tuned. We expect to have an updated look this spring.

Chat Is Back

You asked for it, and we listened. Our new chat support (beta) is live. We’ve spent the past several months finding a solution that not only responds to your inquiries quickly, but gives you the answers you need.

Beginning today, you’ll find a chat button in the upper right of the Lulu support page. Initially, we’ll offer live support in English from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. East Coast time Monday through Friday. This ensures that we will cover the period when we see the heaviest volume of support inquiries. Rest assured, we’re working on expanded language and time support.

In the coming weeks, you may see a message that says “Chat unavailable” where the chat icon should be. That’s part of the transition as we find the right allocation of agents to meet your needs. We’re working quickly to get agents trained with the new tools, but we wanted to get chat up and running as quickly as possible for you.

Above all, we want to make sure you succeed. We truly believe that your content matters and that you deserve to reach the world. We want to do all that we can to help. Chat support is one part of our effort. Integrating the community forums and help into one platform is another. We’re working on other features that will help you publish better and faster and reach more readers, so stay tuned!

We’re excited to offer this new chat feature, and we’re hoping you are to. We’re eager to hear your feedback, so let us know what you think.

We’re listening.

Lulu Around the Web

Every week we like to take some time to listen to what people are saying about Lulu.  We love hearing from our authors, creators and customers because they help us to get even better at what we do.  Here’s what we’ve found this past week:

  • Toronto-born photographer Nigel Brighton got some PR when he chose to publish his new book “Beauty from Within“ with Lulu.  His book is a compilation of his work with models in the beauty industry over the past 15 years.
  • Cindy Bauer, a highly-rated Lulu author herself, wrote a great article for Visual Arts Junction on how to format your manuscript.  A great resource for anyone interested in writing or publishing.
  • Gayle Crabtree used Lulu to make a photo book as a Valentine’s Day gift for her husband, and reveiewed her experience on her blog.  She found our process easy and simple, and was impressed with the print quality of her photo book.  Best of all, her hubby loved it!
  • Sandra over at Infinite Worlds of Fantasy Authors was a fan of our President’s Day sale.  You can find one of her stories in the adventure-oriented fantasy magazine Winter’s Night.  Check it out and let us know what you think.

FREEdom of Expression

**PLEASE NOTE THIS OFFER HAS EXPIRED**

I don’t know about you, but my favorite price is always free. Love and ideas are some of the greatest things in life, and both are completely free. They are also the main components in creating a book. When you love what you’re writing and you come up with interesting and intriguing new ideas, you write great books. At Lulu, our goal is to empower you to do what you love and help you publish a great book.

To help you finish your next book we’re making it easier than ever by providing you with a free copy! If you publish something new between 2/16 and 3/16, we’ll send you a FREE proof copy.

Now, I know you may be thinking – “But Nick, I already published my book and I can’t write a new one in the next month!” Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered. Here are some ideas we’ve come up with and I’m sure you can come up with a few of your own.

* Create a hardcover version of your book – If you haven’t done so already, it’s never too late to turn your paperback book into a hardcover. The process is simple, and if we don’t already offer a hardcover size of your paperback, you can always reformat it for the new version.

* Make a special version of your book. For example, you could add photos or illustrations to the book that help highlight the chapters.

* Challenge yourself. Who says you can’t finish your book by 3/16? Heck, who says you can’t write an entirely new book by then? Challenge yourself and your reward is a free copy of your brand new book. You can do it!

* Collaborate with a friend on a book. You can either write something new together or work on finishing up a book one of you has already started. Either way you get to create something together!

Whatever you decide, we want to help. So get started!

Terms and Conditions
Promotion runs from 2/16 – 3/16. Creators are eligible for a free proof copy of a newly published work at www.lulu.com up to a value of $25. Photo books and calendars are not eligible for this offer. Shipping is not included in the offer. Creator will receive a coupon code by email once the new work is published.

Copyrighting Your Work 101

Copyright_symbol_9Something we get asked about a lot is copyright.  As creators, we want to make sure our work is protected from intellectual property theft, and ensure that we control the publication, distribution and adaptation of what we’ve created. The problem is that copyright can be confusing and there are a lot of misconceptions about it. Hopefully, I can help clear some things up and give you some resources for more information on copyright if you’re interested in that sort of thing.

Please note that this information is focused on copyright in the United States. For more information on International copyrights, please check out the links at the bottom of the post.

What is Copyright?

To begin with, I’m going to get the easy stuff out of the way. With a quick Google search, you can find the basics of what copyright is as well as in-depth discussion and even some analysis. As such, I am going to keep this as simple as possible. Copyright protects the rights of creators of literary, dramatic, musical, and artistic works. Specifically, it gives the owner of the copyright the exclusive right to, and to authorize others the right to, reproduce, distribute, perform, or display the work. It is illegal for anyone to violate any of the rights provided by the law to copyright holders.

For more information on what copyright entails, check out the US Copyright Office’s Copyright Basics.

How Do I Protect My Work?

New Forum Platform is Live

Recently, I announced that we would be moving our forums and knowledge base to a new platform. In order to facilitate this transition, we will be making the forums read-only so that we can extract the data from the past 4 months and begin migrating them to our new system. We will be beginning this process soon, and we are currently targeting this Thursday morning, 2/11/10. We are currently planning for this downtime to be for only a few days, and we apologize for any inconvenience this may cause. We’re very excited about this new platform and can’t wait to share it with you!
Edit: The new platform is now live!

Lulu Studio: more new fonts and themes

NewFonts2SmallIt keeps getting better! Yesterday we added two new photo book themes and eight new fonts to the Studio.  These new fonts will definitely enhance your ability to create stunning projects that are unique to your vision and personality.

To see the fonts up close, click the small image to the left.NewThemes2